Think About It

A Review of 2009

by Don Meyer, Ph.D. | December 26, 2009

"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet."
Emily Dickinson

I always find myself rather reflective at the close of a calendar year. It just seems to be a perfect time to take inventory of the past 12 months. What happened that I want to remember? What would I have done differently? How have I changed? After these past 12 months, what new goals and aspirations do I now have? 

Whenever I do this I realize again how quickly a year goes by. The older I get, the faster each year seems to go by. The older I get, the more people I hear saying that. The older I get, the older I get. 

We can accumulate all kinds of time-savers. We can maximize the moments with our renewed priorities. We can minimize our distractions with the latest technology gadgets. We can strategize our projects with mission statements and project lists and long term goals. But we all know, in the end, the calendar always wins. Like it or not, time moves on. 

Our world has changed in 2009. Barack Obama with his family moved to Washington. Bernard Madoff moved with a little help to prison. The stock market moved without explanation down and up and down. The swine flu moved all of us to cover our mouths and wash our hands. 

Long wars, unethical behavior, healthcare, and the economy have made our headlines. Big people have said things we'd like to forget and small people have said things we will always remember. During the same newscast we are told of heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice and heroes who have brought ultimate shame. 

Our local world also changed in 2009. A large amount of money stopped our Phillies in the World Series after six games in New York but no amount of money could keep the governor of New Jersey in his office after one term. 

In Phoenixville our old bridge is finally gone but our heavy traffic is still here. We lost a former Council man and a newspaper columnist and a courageous young soldier named Lara. We are restoring a Ferris wheel and we have kept our Mayor. We read our paper one day a week instead of six. 

Our family has changed in 2009. Our oldest son turned 40 and our grandson turned six (6). Evie and I have been married for 42 years. And I can hardly believe she is married to a man who is 64. For the past 12 years we have called Pennsylvania home. 

2009 has not been without profound sadness. Whether it was attending the funeral of my brother in Texas or our dear friend Maralyn in Wisconsin, tears have stained these 12 months. Our Phoenixville family has had its share of sorrow which shows in our eyes when you and I meet at yet one more funeral. 

In 2009 I have read many books, written many letters, traveled to many places, grown many flowers, conducted many meetings, listened to many sermons, taken many pictures, participated in many conversations, preached many sermons, prayed many prayers, laughed at many jokes, eaten lots of food, wrestled with many problems, enjoyed the company of many friends, and cherished many moments with Evie and our family. 

2009. It came so quickly and just like that it is gone. But what an incredible year it was. Sure, there were many dark moments but the sun also shined brightly. Sure, some things I would do differently and some things will be long forgotten but other things have the spark of the eternal in them. 

As I look back and also look ahead, I like the words of Betty Smith, "Look at everything as if you were seeing it for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory." 

What a glorious year it has been! What a glorious year is ahead! 

Think about it.

Dr. Don Meyer is President of 
Valley Forge Christian College, Phoenixville, PA 
Responses can be mailed to president@vfcc.edu
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